White Lies, Shoreditch Town Hall, London

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

If we're to believe what the music industry tells us, that 2011 is going to be the year we see the resurgence of guitar bands, tonight's Now Playing event hosted by Three and Spotify is ahead of the game.

Ex-Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows's band, I Am Arrows, kicked off with a handful of polite songs played to an intimate crowd, including their new single, "Hurricane". Second up, buzz band Everything Everything enchanted the crowd with their high-pitched vocals and haunting signature sound through tracks like "Tin (The Manhole)" and crowd-pleaser "My Kz Ur Bf".

As the venue reached capacity, a sense of anticipation took hold of fans waiting for the headline act, White Lies. Making a return to London's live-music circuit and gearing up for the release of their yet to be titled second album, the trio launched in with the sing-along "Strangers". They then showcased new tracks, including "Streetlights", "Holy Ghost" and "Is Love". White Lies' new material sounds as bombastic and grandiose as anything on their debut, To Lose My Life. They paused only momentarily to greet the crowd and to say how excited they are to be back; little more was said throughout.

Harry McVeigh's dark and menacing vocals effortlessly conducted the sound made by the rest of the band. White Lies finished on the thrilling "Farewell to the Fairground" which the crowd went absolutely crazy for. It's clear from tonight just why White Lies are being groomed to take the place of stadium bands we've started to outgrow. Their songs have universal themes, big choruses and are performed confidently and stylishly; next stop Wembley. And fingers crossed that 2011 does see more guitar bands come to prominence – I'd take White Lies over more Ellie Gouldings any day.